Europol takes down mobile malware FluBot

Thursday 2 June 2022 10:36 CET | News

Europol has taken down a fast-spreading Android malware called FluBot following an international law enforcement operation involving 11 countries.

The malware has been spreading aggressively through SMS, stealing passwords, online banking details and other sensitive information from infected smartphones across the world. Its infrastructure was successfully disrupted earlier in May by the Dutch Police, rendering this strain of malware inactive. 

This technical achievement follows a complex investigation involving law enforcement authorities of Australia, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the US, with the coordination of international activity carried out by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). 

The investigation is ongoing to identify the individuals behind this global malware campaign. First spotted in December 2020, FluBot has gained traction in 2021 and compromised a huge number of devices worldwide, including significant incidents in Spain and Finland. 

The malware was installed via text messages which asked Android users to click a link and install an application to track to a package delivery or listen to a fake voice mail message. Once installed, the malicious application, which actually was FluBot, would ask for accessibility permissions. The hackers would then use this access to steal banking app credentials or cryptocurrency account details and disable built-in security mechanisms. 

This FluBot infrastructure is now under the control of law enforcement, putting a stop to the destructive spiral. 

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Keywords: fraud detection, fraud prevention, malware, financial crime
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: Europol
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime


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